Cheque Truncation System (CTS) in India- An Introduction & FAQs


It is also possible for cheque issuers to consider newer techniques such as embedded verifiable features such as bar-codes or logos or watermarks, encrypted codes, holograms, etc., which would facilitate early interception of altered/forged instruments. In order to ensure only images of requisite quality reach the drawee branches, there will be a quality check process at the level of the Capture Systems and the Clearing House Interface. This would ensure only images of requisite quality secured with the digital signatures of the presenting banks reach the drawee branches. In addition, drawers could consider using holograms, barcoding or such other features, which would add to the uniqueness of the images.

In the CTS the presenting bank will capture the data & images of the cheques using their Capture System which is internal to them. They have to meet the specifications and standards prescribed for data and images. To ensure security, safety and non-repudiation the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) is being implemented across the system. The banks will send the captured images and data to the central clearing house for onward transmission to the payee/drawee banks. For that purpose RBI will be providing the banks software called the Clearing House Interface (CHI) that will enable them to connect and transmit data in a secure way and with non-repudiation to the Clearing House (CH).

The Clearing House will process the data and arrive at the settlement figure for the banks and send the required data to payee/drawee banks for processing at their end. The drawee/payee banks will use the same CHI mentioned earlier for receiving the data and images from the Clearing House. It will be the responsibility of the drawee bank Capture System to process the inward data and images and generate the return file for unpaid instruments.

Under CTS, after the capture of the image, the physical cheque would be warehoused with the presenting bank. In case the beneficiary or any other connected persons require the instrument, the payee bank could issue a copy of the image, under its authentication, which is called Image Replacement document. It is a legally recognized replacement of the original cheque for re-presentment. The provisions of NI act (Section 81(3) of the NI Act as amended) also permit the usage of such IRD.


The infrastructure required for CTS from bank?s end are connectivity from the bank gateway to the clearing house, hardware and software for the CTS applications. RBI shall be providing member banks with the CHI and the banks have to procure other hardware and system software for the CHI and the application software for their capture systems on their own.

The hardware requirement is based on the volume of the cheques processed by the banks. Based on the volume the CHI is categorized into four types and the hardware requirement is different for each category.

The band width requirement for each bank is calculated based a number of factors like the peak inward and outward volume of the bank, average size of an image, efficiency factor of the network etc. In addition to that future requirement have been taken into consideration for calculating the band with requirement.


Imaging of cheques can be based on various technology options. The cheque images can be black and white, Grey Scale or coloured. Black and White images do not reveal all the subtle features that are there in the cheques. Coloured Images increase storage and network bandwidth requirements. So it was decided that the electronic images of truncated cheques will be in gray scale technology. There will be three images of the cheques i.e. front grey, front black & white and back black & white which will be made available to member banks. The image specifications are:

Image Type Minimum DPI Format Compression

Front GrayScale 100 DPI JFIF JPEG

Front Black & White 200 DPI TIFF CCITT G4

Reverse Black & White 200 DPI TIFF CCITT G4

The image quality of the Grey Scale image shall be 8 bits/pixel (256 levels).

Scanners also function like photo-copiers by reflecting the light passed through narrow passage on to the document. Tiny sensors measure the reflection from each point along the strip of light. Reflectance measurements of each dot is called pixel. Images are classified as black and white, gray-scale or colour based on hoe the pixels are converted into digital values. For getting a gray scale image the pixels are mapped onto a range of gray shades between black and white. The entire image of the original document gets mapped as some shade of gray, lighter or darker, depending on the colour of the source. In the case of black and white images, such mapping is made only to two colours based on the range of values of contrasts. A black and white image is also called a binary image.



(Source- RBI)


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